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LIGHT THIEF, THE

LIGHT THIEF, THE
Scene from THE LIGHT THIEF (photo © Pallas Film/Artur Bolzhurov)

They call him “Svet-ake” (“Mr. Light”). The electrician is responsible for bringing more than just light to the people around him. Like moths, everybody is drawn to his kindness: those with short circuits in their electricity, and those with short circuits in their marriage, those who have taken all the power in the city, and those who have given up the will to live. He helps everyone and is everywhere. He doesn’t even shy from breaking the law, rewinding an old and lonely pensioner’s electricity meter so that he doesn’t owe the State, but rather the State owes him.

The economic devastation of the country has had an enormous impact on the working people and yet despite the upheaval they have not lost the ability to love, to suffer, to share their lives with friends, and enjoy what they have… in particular our resilient electrician who possesses a wonderful and open heart. He not only brings electric light (which is often out) to the lives of the inhabitants of this village, but he also spreads the light of love, loyalty, life, and most of all, lots of laughter.


Aktan Arym Kubat was born in 1957 in Kyrgyzstan and started working as a production designer in the 1980s. He wrote his first screenplay in 1995 and began directing in 1990. His films include: WHERE'S YOUR HOME, SNAIL? (1992), BUS STOP (short, 1995), HASSAN HUSSEN (short, 1997), THE ADOPTED SON (1998), THE CHIMP (2001), THE MOTHER'S HEAVEN (2010), and THE LIGHT THIEF (2010).
Genre Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 2010
Director Aktan Arym Kubat
Screenplay Talip Ibraimov, Aktan Arym Kubat
Cinematography Hassan Kydyraliyev
Petar Markovic
Andre Matthias
Talgat Asyrankulov
Cast Asan Amanov, Askat Sulaimanov, Taalaikan Abazova, Aktan Arym Kubat, Stanbek Toichubaev
Producers Altynai Koichumanova, Denis Vaslin, Karl Baumgartner, Marc Baschet, Thanassis Karathanos, Cedomir Kolar
Production Companies Pallas Film/Halle, Oy Art/Beshkek, A.S.A.P. Films/Paris, Volya Films/Rotterdam, in co-production with ZDF, ARTE
Length 80 min
Format 35 mm, color
Original Version
 Kyrgyz
Subtitled Version English
Sound Technology Dolby Digital
Festivals Cannes 2010 (Directors' Fortnight), Locarno 2010, Toronto 2010, Montreal Festival of New Cinema 2010, Tallinn Black Nights 2010, Thessaloniki 2010, Kerala 2010, Palm Springs 2011, Göteborg 2011, Hong Kong 2011, Cleveland 2011, Istanbul 2011, San Francisco 2011
With backing from Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung, Fonds Sud Cinéma, World Cinema Fund, Hubert Bals Fund, The Netherlands Fund

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